Water is a nutrient that is of high importance to ‘the life of humans and animals. Water consumption rate or level is affected when water is too hot or has excess minerals. There is a relationship between water consumption and feed consumption; i.e. both are interdependent. For example, an increase in feed intake will result in an increase in water intake.
Other factors that affect water intake or consumption include genetics, health status, housing system, drinker type and temperature, which is the most obvious of all. For instance, when the environmental temperature is above 32oC, chickens would consume 30-50% more water compared with when the temperature is 21oC.
The type of drinker used in serving chickens and other poultry birds affects water intake. The rule of thumb is that water intake is typically 1.5-2 times feed intake.
The tables below show the daily water consumption rate for layers and broilers at an optimum environmental temperature of 21oC
|Production Stage||Age/Rate of Production||Litres of water per 1000 birds at 21oC|
|Layer pullet||4 weeks||100|
|Laying hens||50% production||220|
Typical daily water consumption for broilers at 20oC
|Water Intake (litres per 1000 mixed sex broilers)||65||120||180||245||290||330||355||370|
What is Coccidiosis?
Coccidiosis or Cocci in poultry is an important protozoan disease that is capable of wiping out a large of number of affected chickens overnight. Coccidiosis affecting poultry birds include Eimeria tenella, E. necatrix, E. maxima, E. mivati, E. mitis, E. brunette etc. It is easier or better to prevent than to cure it because a poultry farmer may not be aware that his birds have coccidiosis until it is very late. Unfortunately, he might have lost a good number of chickens. This is the reason why a poultry farmer needs to know what to look for and what is needed to be done.
Coccidiosis is a protozoan disease that infects the intestine of poultry birds like broilers, layers, turkeys and other animals. This disease can cause damage to the host bird within 4-7 days as the Eimeria parasite replicates and damage the intestinal mucosa of the host within this period. This disease starts when poultry birds (broilers, layers or turkeys) ingest relatively many sporulated oocysts of the parasite. These oocysts are present in litter, contaminated feed, soil, dust and water. Furthermore, these oocysts can be transmitted by insects, clothing, pen materials or equipment or in the faeces of infected birds. However, fresh oocysts are not harmful or effective unless it is sporulated, and this could happen when the environmental temperature is around 70°–90°F and with adequate oxygen and moisture within 24-48 hours. Depending on certain environmental factor, sporulated oocysts may survive in the sporulated form for long periods and they are resistant to some disinfectants but could be destroyed by high temperatures or freezing.
If one or some of your birds is infected with cocci and on deep-litter, it means that the chances that the whole flock will be affected because they have access to the litter and the faeces excreted by those infected.
Signs and Symptoms of Coccidiosis in Poultry
When birds are suffering from coccidiosis, the following are observed:
- Blood in droppings, blood-stained faeces or sticky white diarrhoea around the cloaca
- Drop in feed intake due to loss of appetite and this is followed by a rapid drop in body weight
- Ruffled feathers and dropped wings
- High mortality rate in flock
- Reluctance to move and general weakness (fowl paralysis)
- Birds huddle together with closed eyes
- Pale wattles and combs
How to Treat or Control Coccidiosis in Poultry
Birds that are raised on a battery-cage system have fewer coccidia infections because they have little or no access to litter or faecal droppings. Hence, it is recommended to raise birds in cages rather than on deep-litter. However, if the birds are on a deep-litter system, the litter should be changed regularly (once in two weeks) and avoid too much of water spilling on the litter. When the litter is wet or smells ammonia, it should be evacuated and replaced to dry litter (wood shavings).
Anti-coccidial vaccines and drugs could also be used as they are very effective in controlling coccidiosis. Anti-coccidial drugs that can be used to treat coccidiosis include Prococ, Amprocox, Coxstop and Sulpha drugs. Continuous use of low level of a coccidiostat through feed also helps.
Above all, maintaining a high level of hygiene and sanitation would greatly help in preventing coccidiosis in your flock.
For Further Reading:
Nutrition is an important part of poultry farming because the performances of chickens and other poultry birds depend majorly on their nutrition. One mistake some broilers farmers make is giving less focus on what their broilers consume. Each class of birds has its own specific nutritional requirements, and these requirements are always considered when formulating feed for chickens. Anything lower or higher would affect the performance of the chickens. That is why it is important to know the nutritional requirements of broilers. When you have an idea of what your chickens need, feed analysis and formulation would be carried out efficiently.
Nutrition is an important part of poultry farming because the performances of chickens and other poultry birds depend majorly on their nutrition. One mistake some layers farmers make is giving less focus on what their laying hens consume. Each class of birds has its own specific nutritional requirements, and these requirements are always considered when formulating feed for chickens. Anything lower or higher would affect the performance of the chickens. That is why it is important to know the nutritional requirements of chicks and layers. When you have an idea of what your chickens need, feed analysis and formulation would be carried out efficiently.
Prolapse (pickout) is the turning inside out of the oviduct and rectal organs through the vent, to the extent of not retracting back. Its occurrence may results in death. Its discovery in time will assist in the reposition of the organs back to their normal position using the hand.
Poultry farmers sometimes experience vaccine failures and their birds come down with the diseases against which they were vaccinated for. There are many factors that could prevent a vaccine from being effective. Therefore many precautionary measures need to be taken when administering vaccines, following are some of them:
Vaccines have contributed immensely to the prevention and control of major diseases of poultry, which were previously incurable or difficult to cure. Most commercial poultry farmers, therefore, follow a vaccination program aimed at controlling these diseases. However, inexperienced poultry farmers do not know how to vaccinate their birds. Vaccines can be administered through various routes such as through:
The implications of an outbreak of the diseases are very serious and result in a heavy economic loss. Though, vaccines give proper protection to the host, provided they are used at the proper time, age and method, any negligence in this regard results in severe complications. Therefore, a thorough understanding of vaccine is important.
Health management is very important in all aspects of livestock farming. As a grasscutter or cane rat farmer, the health of your big rats should be very important to you because if they come down with diseases, you would be spending additional money to combat those diseases. Of course, your cost of production is increasing. To protect your grasscutters from diseases, the following measures should be done:
A lot of Nigerian poultry farmers face various challenges associated with procurement of day old chicks (DOC), poults and point of lays. These challenges include difficulty to find a reputable hatchery or vendor, failure of hatchery or vendor to supply at an agreed date and difficulty to get quality DOC. Well, the good news for Nigerian poultry farmers is that they can now order for their day old chicks, day old poults (turkey) and their point of lay chickens online. Thanks to PoultryPlaza.com for providing this service.
Poultry birds and poultry production are generally affected by seasonal climatic or weather changes. For instance, in the wet or cold season, chickens eat more feed, drink less water and huddle together to generate heat and keep themselves warm. On the other hand, chickens and other livestock birds consume less feed and drink more water in the hot season or weather in order to cool their body. Don’t be surprised that these changes affect the production of birds, most especially laying birds, as the egg production is reduced in extremely cold or hot weather. This reduction in egg production occurs because when there are extreme cold or hot conditions, these birds are stressed, and their ability to withstand diseases or immune system is seriously affected.
Turkey farming is the process of raising turkeys for the purpose of producing meat or eggs for food or money. Turkey, chicken, guinea fowl, duck and quail are all domestic birds that nutritionally and economically contribute to any country. Turkeys are kept or reared for meat purpose. Their meat is recognized as the leanest of all poultry species. Additionally, they are consumed by almost every country across the globe. Turkey farming is popular in countries like the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK and Netherlands. This post is a beginner guide for those who wants to start turkey farming. Before you proceed, I would want you to buy an Ebook Guide on Raising Turkeys on Amazon. Click the image below for details.
Fumigation is a method of disinfection or destruction of harmful disease organisms in an environment by using fumigants. Fumigants are chemicals that are released into the atmosphere in the form of gas or fume. The purpose for fumigation is to destroy disease organisms that could infect chicks, poults or ducklings, especially transmissible diseases such as fowl typhoid, pullorum, epidemic tremor, infectious bronchitis and chronic respiratory disease (CRD).
It is also important to fumigate brooding houses or pens—especially previously used houses—before they are stocked with new day old chicks or poults. Fumigating your brooding house or pen prior to brooding or stocking is beneficial and does a lot of good for the coming chicks or animals.
The feeds or foods that are given to grasscutters should meet all their daily nutritional requirements. Since the grasscutters would be in captivity, their diet should consist of majorly green forage, but fresh or dried food could also be provided. They can also be given concentrates rich in energy, proteins and minerals.